Psychotropic Medication Use and Polypharmacy in Children with Autism by @AAPNews #ASD #Drugs #SSRIs

Children with autism often take multiple drugs, despite limited evidence about the drugs’ long-term safety.

Abstract:

Psychotropic medication use and polypharmacy in children with autism spectrum disorders

Children with autism often take multiple drugs, despite limited evidence about the drugs’ long-term safety

OBJECTIVE:
The objectives of this study were to examine rates and predictors of psychotropic use and multiclass polypharmacy among commercially insured children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

METHODS:
This retrospective observational study used administrative medical and pharmacy claims data linked with health plan enrollment and sociodemographic information from 2001 to 2009. Children with ASD were identified by using a validated ASD case algorithm. Psychotropic polypharmacy was defined as concurrent medication fills across ≥2 classes for at least 30 days. Multinomial logistic regression was used to model 5 categories of psychotropic use and multiclass polypharmacy.

RESULTS:
Among 33 565 children with ASD, 64% had a filled prescription for at least 1 psychotropic medication, 35% had evidence of psychotropic polypharmacy (≥2 classes), and 15% used medications from ≥3 classes concurrently. Among children with polypharmacy, the median length of polypharmacy was 346 days. Older children, those who had a psychiatrist visit, and those with evidence of co-occurring conditions (seizures, attention-deficit disorders, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or depression) had higher odds of psychotropic use and/or polypharmacy.

CONCLUSIONS:
Despite minimal evidence of the effectiveness or appropriateness of multidrug treatment of ASD, psychotropic medications are commonly used, singly and in combination, for ASD and its co-occurring conditions. Our results indicate the need to develop standards of care around the prescription of psychotropic medications to children with ASD.

Sources:

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2 Comments

  1. eavdailytips

     /  16/12/2013

    Thanks for sharing Dom
    Oncle Gerrit

    Reply

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